Sunday, May 15, 2016

Drinking in Portland

People often ask me "What do I miss about Chicago" and other than my friends and family the answer is easy - "Binny's" - the giant liquor store that used to be across the street from my condominium. I could walk in there any time and select from an immense collection of beer, wine and liquor in every size and type at reasonable prices. It was like the "toy store" for me.

Oregon sadly has strange and outdated laws about liquor. You can buy beer and wine pretty much everywhere but hard liquor can only be bought at a state-run liquor store. It is extremely ironic that a state where pot is legal views hard liquor as something to be controlled in that manner but it is the current law, although there are campaigns to change it underway right now.

Thus when you walk over to the liquor store it is good to pick up a few bottles so that you don't run out. While other commenters talk about how expensive hard liquor is in Oregon, it didn't seem so bad to me, but perhaps that's because I am used to paying high sales and use taxes on liquor (which don't exist here) and I am buying more premium spirits, not Popov vodka in a plastic jug with the handle.

They have a distillery tour that I need to go on one of these days because they brew spirits locally and sell through the stores. That is high on my list of local tours. Below is a local gin that I like a lot.

There also is a huge brewery culture here in Portland and in Oregon in general. I am trying (mostly) to drink less beer but I like some of the locally brewed pilsners and I really like the Kolsch beers. Here is one with high "beer synergy" since the glass matches the beer. This is definitely something for tourists to visit, as well.

Oregon also has great wines. I am going to start buying wine directly from the wineries and go on a tour for that. Once I figure out how to ship it and learn a bit more this will be a great gift to ship to friends in the Midwest, as well.


Gerry from Valpo said...

Do they sell the herb at state run stores as well?

Brian Swisher said...

"Do they sell the herb at state run stores as well?"

Not to my knowledge. But pot stores have sprung up every-frickin'-where, and they all appear to be privately owned. There are more port stores than liquor stores in Portland. It's a growth industry. ;)

Carl, you might also enjoy touring the Momokawa sakery that is out toward Forest Grove. The making of sake is quite different from that of beer or wine. I found it very interesting.

Jonathan said...

That's incredible!